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Insecure mode

Insecure mode is designed for development or testing. It supports unsigned JWTs that can be generated anywhere, including on the client, as well as signed JWTs which are accepted with no signature verification.


Insecure mode is convenient to use in development and testing. However, you must switch to Secure mode before moving into production.


When starting the Electric server, make the AUTH_MODE environment variable with the value insecure available to it. For example,

$ docker run -e AUTH_MODE=insecure electricsql/electric

Now, all you need to authenticate your client is a JWT with a sub claim (formerly user_id). You can use to craft a token with static claims and then copy-paste it into your client app. Alternatively, you can use something like the following function to generate JWTs at run time:

import jwt from 'jsonwebtoken'

function unsignedJWT(userId: string, customClaims?: object) {
const claims = customClaims || {}

return jwt.sign({, sub: userId }, '', { algorithm: 'none' })

When the Electric sync server is running in insecure mode, it ignores the signing algorithm and the key. However, using the none algorithm when creating the JWT will produce a shorter encoded token, since it'll have an empty signature.

For example, calling the above function as follows

const token = unsignedJWT("1")

will produce an unsigned JWT that looks similar to this


Use the function to initialize the client and have your replication connection successfully authenticate with the server instance we started above:

import { electrify } from 'electric-sql/wa-sqlite'

const userId = '...'
const token = unsignedJWT(userId)

const electric = await electrify(conn, schema)
await electric.connect(token)

In a more realistic scenario, instead of hard-coding a static token, you would generate a new JWT for each user that signs into your app at runtime and then pass that JWT to the client.

How the server validates auth tokens

The server running in the Insecure auth mode expects a single required claim sub (formerly user_id) to be included in the token. All other claims are optional. If any of iat, exp, or nbf claims are included, they will be validated according to the JWT specification and so your token will get rejected if any of these standard claims' values are invalid.

For development purposes, consider omitting standard claims from the token. If that's not possible, set a long expiration for your tokens to avoid the need to recreate them periodically or have a new token generated every time the client app is started.

Configuration options


This is an optional setting that is set to the value secure by default. So to start Electric in the Insecure auth mode, this variable needs to be explicitly set to the value insecure.


This is an optional setting that works the same in both insecure and secure auth modes. See the documentation page for the Secure auth mode to learn more.